From the Politicker:
City Councilmembers and advocates announced a plan today to slap a 10 cent charge on all plastic and paper carry-out bags at grocery and retail stores across New York City.
Customers would be required to bring their own bags or pay the fee, which stores would get to pocket, according to the proposed legislation, unveiled this afternoon at City Hall.
The legislation, which will be formally introduced at a Council meeting Thursday, is aimed at reigning in “wasteful” plastic bag use in the city, where it’s not uncommon for grocery stores to double-bag single quarts of milk.
According to the bill’s proponents, New Yorkers use approximately 5.2 billion plastic bags per year–the vast majority of which are not recycled. The city also spends an estimated $10 million a year to transport those 100,000 tons of plastic bags to landfills each year, they said.
“Many agree that it is time to move forward on addressing this environmentally-harmful problem,” the group said in a release.
The legislation would also force the city to begin widespread distribution of free, reusable bags. Restaurants would be exempt from the rule, Stores that break the rules twice would be slapped with $250 fines.
A spokesman for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, whose support is likely necessary for the bills to pass, declined to say whether or not she supports the bills.
A spokesman for the mayor said the office is reviewing the legislation.